Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

Supposedly it’s mine

7 November 2017

Last time I wandered over to YouTube, I found a playlist labeled as “My Mix.” Surely not my mix?

Of the 50-odd tracks, I’d actually played about two-thirds before. The others — well, I assume they thought I’d be interested, based on other videos viewed. Interestingly, four were by Sly and the Family Stone.

This was the eleventh track proffered, a Robyn Adele Anderson cover of a System of a Down tune:

I’ll have to watch this list in case anything else weird shows up.

The young folks, they’ll never believe this

19 November 2013

I did over 300 of these, some of which eventually were updated to CDs, which is why this site is here in the first place.

And yes, they were all something like this:

Weirdly, it now takes me longer to assemble an 80-minute CD than it did a 90-minute tape.

(Via Outside the Beltway.)

It’s a security update

1 December 2010

That’s what WordPress told us, anyway, so here we are at 3.0.2 3.0.3 3.0.4. Secure, we hope.

Three dot oh

17 June 2010

We’re now running WordPress 3.0. I hope everything still works. Not that there’s that much to break, of course.

Yeah, it’s a new theme

2 January 2010

After three years, I figured it was time. This is Burlap Texture Orange, with a few minor modifications. It’s actually fairly readable, I think.

Two dot nine

19 December 2009

We have updated to WordPress 2.9. Please advise if anything is working even worse than usual.

The legality of it all

18 October 2009

Occasionally someone asks for a download link for a CD-R seen here, and I wind up quoting chapter and verse to explain why I didn’t. (Said chapter and verse can be found here.) But we used to swap tapes all the time, didn’t we?

Well, yes, we did, but that really was different:

[M]any of those analog mix tapes were covered by the safe harbor established in the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (“AHRA”), which barred infringement actions for private, noncommercial musical recordings. When it comes to digital mix tapes however, your computer isn’t an audio recording device covered by AHRA. [See RIAA v. Diamond, 180 F.3d 1072, 1078 (9th Cir. 1999).] More importantly, when a mix tape is posted on a blog for any and all to access and download, it isn’t a private use anymore, but a distribution to the public.

(Seen at Planet Kaua’i.)

A tool for us non-pros

25 July 2009

Rather a long time ago, I put together a compilation called Random Reclaimed Vinyl, which involved some painstaking work with old records and the software of its time. The end result was pretty good, sometimes a smidgen better than that, but I’d hate to have to do it again the same way.

And if I wanted the highest possible hi-fi, I’d have to do it again the same way, albeit with some pricey sound tools. But I can come rather a lot closer than I thought with a $34.95 package called Spin It Again from Acoustica. It’s intended as a full-fledged recording package for people who want to convert vinyl and cassettes to digital form, but so far I’ve used it solely as a cleanup tool for existing digital files that weren’t quite clean enough.

That cleanup, you’ll want to know, is absurdly simple: the software comes with several preset filters tuned specifically for the sorts of noises you’ll get from analog sources. They range in severity from fairly light to industrial strength; inevitably, filters like this introduce some artifacts or distortion, but the lighter ones pass almost completely unnoticed. The heaviest is labeled “Clean Everything.” One I was happy to see compensates for what happens when you play a record using a magnetic cartridge but don’t have a preamp to correct for the usual RIAA curve. You can also create custom filters if you know what you’re doing.

The trial version is not crippled, but it permits you to do only three cleanup jobs. I was ready to buy after two, one of which was an obscure Buchanan and Goodman cut-in record that sounded utterly horrid beforehand and downright acceptable afterward. I can recommend Spin It Again to anyone who wants a relatively-painless way to clean up those oldies but goodies — and who has a recent version of Windows, since there’s no Mac or Unix version to be had.

Two point eight

11 June 2009

We’ve updated to WordPress 2.8. The last few upgrades have turned up no serious anomalies, which motivated me to do the update without actually backing up the database, which proves, I suppose, that I’m a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

Perfect timing

31 May 2009

Joshua Allen argued last year that the perfect length for a pop single was 2:42, and put up a muxtape to illustrate, though subsequently ran afoul of The Authorities. Featured track: “There She Goes” by the La’s.

It occurs to me that no one (well, hardly anyone) puts out a song that short anymore. In contrast, there were three 2:42 tracks on the Beatles’ White Album.

I wrote about this phenomenon at greater length last year on another site, but I figured it was, um, time to bring it up again.